Tuesday, July 18, 2006

He Said, He Said

I confess that I was quite overwhelmed by the generosity displayed by the Moroccan government vis-à-vis the unfolding horror in Lebanon. It was announced today that 2 cargo planes had been sent last evening to Lebanon with:

...18 tons of medicines (MAD 5 million) and 16 tons of powdered milk, which Lebanese children desperately need ... the sovereign also decided to grant Lebanon a USD 5 million relief assistance, as another sign of solidarity with the suffering Lebanese people.

Quite frankly, I didn't know that King M6 had this much loose change jingling in his pockets or that so much unrequired medicine was just sitting on shelves watching their expiration dates draw nearer & nearer. But, what do I know? Bravo!

Having said that, I was a tad perturbed by the reporting of the story in The Morocco Times; its sole reference to the violence and any of the causes thereof being:

Israel has launched for about a week now a fierce attack on Lebanon, ostensibly to free two soldiers taken hostage by Hizbullah. The aggression targets mainly civilian infrastructure. It has so far killed over 200 civilians.

Wow. Now, I am not, by nature, what one might call a supporter of Israel's foreign or domestic policies - far from it. But in the interest of fairness, it might have been politic to mention the role that the Hezbollah has & is playing in this nightmare that we call "tensions in the Middle East". We shouldn't forget that it was Hezbollah militants who entered Israel, killing 3 Israeli soldiers and kidnapping 2 others in a bid to negotiate a future prisoner exchange. Exchanges that the Israelis are historically loath to do. For good measure, after the ambush, another 5 Israeli soldiers were killed. Israel - in typical fashion I must admit - responded by bombing the living shit out of Beirut (as well as a naval blockade). Hezbollah retaliated, firing rockets into Haifa. D. S. al Coda.

Two sides, two sets of players - with the playing field a much beseiged country that routinely gets the crap kicked out of it as soon as it rebuilds the infrastructure that was destroyed after the last shit-kicking. (Cat in Rabat wonders if it possible to grow up in Lebanon and not be irrevocably traumatized?).

Balanced reporting would be nice. Perhaps mention all the participants, especially the ones who launch rockets and drop bombs. Or those that finance and supply them. That's all. That's all I wanted to say.


Blogger ByronB said...

It's very confusing - apparently Hezbollah is Shia, so all the Sunnis are cheering Israel on, only too pleased to see their fellow Muslims killed. The only good Shia being a dead one, of course. After all, it's the religion of peace. Er, I think.

8:32 a.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Sometimes I think that I need a Powerpoint demonstration or flashcards to keep everything straight. Life was simpler when there were good duys who wore white & bad guys who who black. But you're right, this insane hatred runs on so many levels that just when you think you've gotten a handle on it, the race/religion/geography/language/tribal card gets played.

9:12 a.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

Ah yes, the good old days of Hopalong Cassidy who always wore a white hat!

Mind you, that was on a black and white TV, so you couldn't really tell. I now have this niggling worry that maybe his hat was beige or yellow, and the villains actually wore navy blue and not black?

Perish the thought!

9:39 a.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

The bad guys probably wore plaid with stripes, some heinous fashion faux-pas. Or red & pink (which as my mother says 'makes you stink').

10:38 a.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

Red and pink? That'd be the bad gays, then?

12:18 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

I'm almost 50, and for my whole life someone, somewhere, has been fighting a ~major~ war.

I wonder when we're going to realize that it just doesn't work?


1:49 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kidnapping 2 soldiers is a part of war, but killing 200 civillians is not.

Japan bombing Pearl Harbour was a part of war, dropping an atomic bomb on millions of civillians was not.

Killing American soldiers in Iraq is resistance, kidnapping civilians is not.

...(nothing to write here) was a part of war, shooting 5000 unarmed bosnian men in the head was not.

War sometimes is unavoidable, but even it should have some rules...

2:57 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

I'm not sure what your point is, Anon. I tend not to split hairs when I talk of war. I don't know what an act of war is or isn't. I know that wars involve lots of violence and killing and refugees and starvation and shit like that.

Whatever the hell one wants to call it, I'm against it. I'm in favour of peace.

Are there any circumstances where war is justified? I think there have been; as I said in a post on my blog, maybe WWII was a just war. It may have been one of the few, it was probably the last.

I'm not trying to justify the actions of any side in the current dispute in the Middle East. Both sides are wrong. No one is right. The only certainty is that civilians will die, and that makes me sick.

4:50 p.m.  
Blogger ExpatJane said...

War is sad all around, I don't think anyone can disagree with that.

I'm just pleased to see that aid is being sent to Lebanon to help civilians who are literally caught in the crossfire.

Thanks for the post on this Cat.

9:27 p.m.  
Blogger Sencer said...

Knarf sighed,
"I wonder when we're going to realize that it[war] just doesn't work?"

If someone steals or damages your property, or swears you or headbutts you (this reminds me something for some reason), you go to police.

But what would a country do or should do, if another country threathens her independence or just does not give you the right of existence?

There are no bad countries or bad religions, that is propaganda I believe. But there are some bad people in this world, and always will be. War with fair rules against these people seems to be inevitable. Fair rules like what? For instance, you do not have the right to bomb and sink a ship full of all the evil souls (say hitler,mussolini,stalin, plus lets say the devil himself, etc.) if there is one innocent person on the same ship. This is what their religion say. People not following it, it is not because their religion orders so but because their lack of understanding Islam, thus becoming one of those evils. The same religion also says, "if you kill one innocent person, it is equaly bad as killing all the human beings". Now you decide what factors lead these evil guys kill innocent people in Israel; the religion or losing their hopes to win a fair war against Israel, their poverty, living in a isolated territory with no independence. Does Israel fight fair? My knowledge is limited to Christianity and Islam, but I don't think their religion orders to kill innocents neither, and many of my jewish friends do not approve their country's reaction.

These guys lived in peace for a long time. Politicians and these fighters should look at their history to learn the ways to resolve their conflicts. But both sides shoud communicate and talk first, without any help from West-UN please, it is the thing "just does not work".

8:58 p.m.  
Blogger Sencer said...

"Cat in Rabat wonders if it possible to grow up in Lebanon and not be irrevocably traumatized?"

That is one of those factors I was talking, very good point. Sometimes we overlook the pyscological and sociological consequences of war especially on the adults of the future.

9:15 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...


You raise some interesting points.

I will agree that like people, countries have a right to defend themselves. The question is, "when does the provocation require war or military hostilities as a response?"

The problem is "self-defense" has been so stretched and abused that it's come to the point that Gee Dubya and his cronies have used the "pre-emptive strike in self-defense". In other words, "we're pretty sure that they'd like to attack us, so we'll attack them first, before they even have the ability to attack us, just to make sure."


Self defense would be wonderful if it were a simple matter of "they attacked us without provocation", but how often does that happen. The "attacking" country will say, "well, the other guys did such-and-such first, so we were only defending our interests/honour/whatever in the only way we could."

Most international disputes arise after simmering for years, decades, even centuries.

Maybe if we just outlawed war.

I know, I'm naive.

10:03 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

You should take a shufti at this:

10:27 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

the suffix is "html" on that last posting

10:28 p.m.  

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